I sat down to watch David Fincher's Zodiac, one of my favorite films, the other night. I have always been particularly struck by the first scene, which depicts the double shooting of a young man and young woman in a car parked on a secluded lover's lane. Only the young man survives. At the end of the film, now older and world-weary, the man identifies the individual who shot him. I wonder: What must it have been like to live with that trauma and survivor's remorse?
After Redditor Obama-bin-keemstar asked the online community, "Those who have almost been murdered, what's your story?" people shared their experiences. Some of these are downright chilling.
Warning: Some sensitive material ahead.
"My dad was the manager..."
When I was young (maybe 4 or 5 years old), my family lived in a small town of about 1200 people. It was mostly a farming town. My dad was the manager of the only bank in town. A farmer missed some payments on a loan, so the bank foreclosed and took his farm. This farmer apparently blamed my father personally, so he went to the bank with a rifle and threatened my father. My father talked to him, cops were called, and the farmer was arrested and arraigned.
Bail was posted for the farmer, so he was released from jail. A few days later, my family was eating dinner and we heard a truck pull up and park in front of our house. It was a really quiet street in a small town, so my father went to the front window to see who pulled up. It was the farmer, and this time he had a shotgun. He walked right up to the front door and knocked, and my family busted @ss out of the back door and ran to a neighbor's house. Our front door was unlocked so he could have opened it and blasted us all, but I guess he didn't think to check it.
Cops were again called, and the farmer was arrested. My family spent the next week or so in a hotel a few towns away until it was assured that the farmer would be in jail without the possibility of bail.
"I was a freshman..."
I was a freshman in college and, in my first semester, pledged a fraternity. One night, I was assigned to work the door at a party (which was not uncommon). Around 1:30-2 am, a group of guys that worked at the dining hall (I remembered the one because he made an amazing cheesesteak) showed up and each paid $5 per cup. A few minutes after they paid, the last keg kicked and none of them got any beer.
As soon as they told me that the kegs just kicked, I started counting out cash to pay them back for the cups that they bought. Before I could get them their money back, one of my drunk pledge brothers decided to physically force them out the door while yelling/s***-talking them. As soon as I could calm my buddy down I went outside to give them their cash back, only to be met with a big, big surprise.
When I made it down the back steps, Cheesesteak Guy aggressively steps forward and says "Ya'll made a big f****** mistake. I'm strapped as a mother f*****", pulls a handgun out of his waistband and points it directly between my eyes. In that moment, it was remarkable that 18-year-old me didn't s*** his pants immediately.
A few of the older guys in the house stepped outside and were able to talk the guy down without incident, but it felt like I had that gun pointed between my eyes for an eternity. Long story short, I was incredibly lucky that I didn't get shot that night.
Needless to say, I went without cheesesteaks for a few semesters after that night.
My brother struggled with mental health issues his entire life. When I was really young he pushed me into the deep end of the pool knowing I couldn't swim and walked away. They found me floating face down in the pool shortly after and had to resuscitate me.
Mental health issues are not to be ignored.
"I was a clerk..."
I was a clerk at an appliance repair shop. Some guy had brought his riding lawn mower in to be worked on, but decided it cost too much to have repaired so my boss asked me to load it up in our lift truck and drive it to his address. I was 17 and had my relatively newly minted license on me, so it felt like a big responsibility and I was happy to do it.
I loaded it up just fine and drove to his address. When I started to unload it I noticed that the battery was unattached. One of the technicians must have removed it to work on it or something. Unfortunately, I had no tools to put it back in. I checked the work order and it said "Customer declined repair, needs replacement engine." So I thought "whew, he won't care because the engine is dead anyway."
I rang the doorbell, and this fat drunk guy with no shirt opens the door suddenly. I had lowered the riding mower off the lift truck and had pushed it into his yard. He yells "What the hell are you leaving that pile of junk in my yard for?" I said, "Is this not your riding lawnmower?" He says "Hell yes it's mine, but it's in pieces and I don't want the damned thing. What the f' is wrong with you people!?"
So I apologize and ask him if he wanted me to load it back up (I didn't know what else to say). For some unknown reason this pissed him off even more, and he disappeared back into his house. I go back to the truck to radio my boss (this was back in the days before cell phones) to see what she wanted me to do. In the meantime that drunk bastard stomps out onto his porch with a shotgun, leveled it at the truck, and pulled the trigger. The windshield shattered, and I literally couldn't hear anything but ringing from the noise. I jumped in the truck, started it up, put it in reverse, and floored it out of his driveway, almost going into the ditch on the other side of the road. He fires again, this time hitting the passenger side of the truck near the door, blowing shrapnel into the cab of the truck, which hit my leg and cut me a bit.
I flew back to work faster than I had ever driven before, called my mom and dad, and told my boss I was never coming back to work there again.
The cops came and took my statement, arrested the dumb@ss, and I had to testify against him a few months later (despite desperately never wanting to see him again). He only spent about six months in prison for it. Luckily by the time things were settled I had moved away to college, and didn't have to worry about him anymore.
When I was 19 I dated a girl whose dad was a psycho. Was probably just over 5 feet tall but all muscle. Did a bunch of time in prison for drugs and violent crimes. Once had a guy cut him off in traffic, followed the guy and finally boxed him in, tore open his car door, and held a knife to the guy's crotch threatening to cut his member off until the guy wet himself. This level of crazy (didn't find most of this out until after the fact)
She and I lived together in an apartment. I worked afternoons, she worked days. There was a couple of hours in the afternoon when no one was there
Had a day off one day and was running some errands. Came home in that time frame when no one was normally home and her father came walking out of our bedroom. I asked him what he was doing there and he told me because he liked me he would be honest.
He said he was there to rob us. He was on drugs and was in the middle of a crime spree. Held up a bunch of people in the complex who were entering or leaving the building, then came through our bedroom window. He said he looked around and didn't find anything so he was on his way out. He said he wouldn't hurt me but if I ever told anyone this happened, including his daughter, I would disappear and no one would ever find me and he walked out.
The whole time he was talking to me, all o could think of was don't give him a reason to attack me. That and I had a coffee cup in the living room with almost $1000 in it. Thankfully he didn't find that.
I thankfully never saw him again. My relationship was on the rocks and this gave me the needed push to get out of there. I never told anyone what happened until after he died.
"I broke up with him..."
The last time I saw my ex.
I broke up with him while we sat in his car at a park. After choking me until I passed out, he got onto the freeway and drove 100+ mph while slamming my head into the window and dashboard.
I was able to get out of the car at one point when he got off the freeway and ran into the street screaming, trying to wave down a car but no one stopped. He was forcing me into his trunk when a man pulled over and started filming him and I ran onto a bus.
I won't ever forget how his eyes looked and that he was absolutely silent the whole two hours. I moved across the country after his mom called me panicking to warn me he was looking for me.
"The lead doc..."
I got shot twice in the back while working in Africa.
I'll condense the story as much as possible. There's a whole prelude to it that explains the why but that's actually really, really hard for me to talk about.
I flew helicopters in Africa for almost 6 years. Mainly for small, front line NGOs serving rural populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, etc. Most of the work centered around OB/GYN care/HIV/AIDS treatment/prevention/Infectious Disease treatment/vaccination. East Africa isn't exactly Green Acres and there are a lot of interesting characters/groups roaming the countryside. Militants, poachers, jihadis, oh my. They don't generally like being hassled by westerners (especially when you fly with heavily armed security)
We were in a small Kenyan village called Kiunga (on the Kenya/Somali border) when we were assaulted by a group of militants (likely Al-Shabaab). The Boni National Reserve was a common hideout for them and there were active warnings in place to prevent tourists from venturing there to see animals.
I got word that we were ready to head out so myself and my No 2 at the time started the pre-flight check. While we were in the process of starting the engines, a group of really nice young men rolled up in a Toyota Hilux and, in the glorious words of Frank Reynolds, started blasting.
Two rounds pierced the panel directly behind the cockpit of the Bell 412 we were flying that day and fragmented. Two of the larger fragments blew through the back of the seat I was in and the rest is history. Our security detail, to their immense credit, did exactly what they were paid (exceptionally well) to do and those fine young men in that Hilux had a very, very bad day.
The lead doc and one of the nurses yanked me out of the seat and stabilized me as best they could in the back. That meant a spritz of some serious pain meds (atomized fentanyl & ketamine right up the nose for the win!), a clotting agent (Celox), and some serious pressure in the form of a German doctor named Fritz kneeling on my back. The wounds themselves weren't life-threatening but they hurt like a mother. I've got two nice scars with some real clean suture work /s
The flight back to Mombasa was....not fun.
"I was a kid..."
I was a kid on a trip with my family and the hired driver had a mental breakdown and tried driving us off a bridge.
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Body modification procedures are not uncommon these days.
If it makes a person have an improved perception of their bodies, the option for body enhancement should be available to them without judgment.
The people of Reddit explored ideas for improving the human penis when Redditor BleakPidgeon asked:
"If you were able to design penis 2.0, what would you change?"
People fantasize about being able to dictate the behavior of the phallus.
"Manual horny control. I can turn off my horniness whenever I want."
They Say When
"I don't have a penis, but I imagine it'd be quite helpful for men to be able to *choose* when they get their boners instead of it happening randomly."
Change In Direction
"I can control which way it bends."
"Ejaculate control. Not a drop comes out until the user wishes it to."
A Hard Fix
"Same for erections. They happen when you want them, and you have a dial for controlling the erection. These two features would have given us a fighting chance against our robotic overlords."
Different functions to the Johnson would please these Redditors.
The Spray Option
"I would add a small spray type shifter around the circumference of the area just behind the head of the penis just like the hose nozzles to change how the fluid comes out of the penis."
"No longer shall we suffer from missing the toilet with a jetspeed straight line piss option."
"No longer shall we feel the pain of passing a kidney stone with the mist option."
"No longer shall we struggle with producing large loads for our SOs satisfaction with the large sloppy stream option."
"We will truly be the most advanced adaptation of the human."
Setting The Pulse
"It will vibrate."
For Business Or Pleasure
"Make it have 2 modes:"
"Mode 1 - just sex - can still ejaculate as usual but cannot get anyone pregnant. Can control when the orgasm happens so you can have longer sex or quickies depending on the situation."
"Mode 2 - baby making mode."
With Great Pleasure
"Multiple orgasms without having to cum but they all lead up to a spectacular one in which you do cum."
"It will go flaccid and retract into the pelvis if there are STDs within 5 feet."
"Family gatherings are going to be awkward."
Some of the requests were innocuous.
"It can talk. I get lonely sometimes."
No More Competition
"I would make them all the same size. It would probably create world peace and harmony 😂"
If an option for an improved pecker was available, what changes would you suggest for an ultimate penile experience?
Being the one to start a conversation can be pretty awkward if there's no context.
We're not all chatty Cathys and just walking up and saying "hi!" really only works if you're an adorable extrovert (or toddler. mostly toddler.)
So how are we supposed to, like, talk to people?
Reddit user Eviotie asked:
"What is the best conversation starter you know?"
I'm not saying the answers are all right here. Some of these might actually be awful ideas - we're not the experts.
All we're saying is Reddit is full of "creative" conversationalists.
" 'So, you got any life regrets?' - my barber, the first time I walked in his shop."
"My only thought to that would be:"
" 'Jesus does my hair look that bad!?' "
"I once had an old Italian guy for a barber that, upon the fourth or fifth visit, proudly informed me that he was Benito Mussolini’s personal chauffeur."
"He would from then on tell me stories in praise of the man. This was around 20 years ago."
Exciting And Engaging ... Kinda
" 'Hey, you got anything you're looking forward to soon?' "
"Not only is it a great starter, but it is also really engaging because they're talking about something exciting."
"I use this so often!!"
"I used to use this one, but so many in my small town are just taking life day by day."
The Scott Pilgrim Method
"Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off the P and turn it into an F or whatever."
- whataboutschismscott pilgrim gideon graves GIFGiphy
Be A Pet Detective
"Actual answer: just ask about their pets."
"If they don't have any, ask if they'd ever want any."
"Even if they don't want any, they usually have a reason why."
"Ask them if they have pets."
"If they do, they'll gladly talk about it till the cows come home. Or they'll talk about the pets they wanted as kids or still want. Or about animals they like."
"If it turns out they don't like animals, you dodged bullet and they wouldn't have been fun to talk to anyway 😂 "
Know Your Audience
"Well, you have to know your audience."
"The best conversation starter for any millennial would be to use a SpongeBob reference."
"It’s usually met with a resounding sense of familiarity and laughter and streams into so many other references from the show, which then spirals into all Nickelodeon shows from of our generation, then Disney… the nostalgia wormhole is never ending and will always be a rousing topic of discussion among our kind."
"Intense nostalgia for the years of our youth cripples us and we will never not take a minute to revel in our glory years and all the amazing content those years produced for the world!!! :’) "
A Little Conditioning
" 'Give me some good news!' Works especially well with coworkers."
"Let them know the answer can be absolutely anything. Anything from the plans for the weekend to them enjoying the weather. Sometimes it's as simple as a song they liked was on the radio this morning."
"It puts people in a positive mindset of thinking when talking with you. Especially if you make it a habit of asking often."
"Once people get used to the question you can see them look forward to it when you walk in."
- GlumBridgeJeff Goldblum Reaction GIF by Apartments.comGiphy
You're Both Surrounded
"Talk about how they know the host of the party or which band they came out for or whatever."
"Just talk about the environment you're both surrounded by. What is the commonality?"
"It's a lot easier to transition into a natural flowing conversation from there."
Travel ... Maybe
"Actual answer: travel."
"Pretty much everyone enjoys travel and there are a lot of questions people can ask if you are planning a vacation or just got back from a vacation. Then you can ask them where they have been/want to go."
"Yeah this doesn't work with poor people. Where TF are we traveling to, the check cashing store?"
A Safer Route
"If I am meeting a person from a different culture, or race, or country, or religion, I ask one of two questions that cannot offend anyone."
" 'Tell me about your favourite food from your childhood.' "
" 'Tell me about the kind of music you listened to as a child.' (What instruments, singing style etc.)"
"People's childhood is often a safe topic, because there was no politics etc."
"But even if there was some awful thing that happened, if they choose to tell you about it, it is a sign that they trust you to understand, about the war, the earthquake, the loss of their parents, whatever trauma they endured."
- TheonAlexanderHungry Italian GIF by 8itGiphy
My Go-To Drunk Bathroom Conversation Starter
"If you’re a woman who is trying to make friends with women: astrology."
"Doesn’t matter how much or how little you know or how seriously you take it. Women use astrology as an excuse to talk to each other."
“ 'Okay but I can’t help but notice you have Leo/Aquarius vibes?' is my go-to drunk bathroom conversation starter with whoever has the coolest outfit."
"I’ve made 5 friends this way😁"
Like I said, creative conversationalists, aren't they?
But what about you? What's your favorite way to start conversations? Or are you the type who would rather die than have to initiate a conversation with a stranger?
Tell us in the comments.
There are just some things in life that are not necessary knowledge.
Maybe we always hold out that tiny bit of hope we will one day be on Jeopardy... because you never know.
It's the creepy facts about life that leave me wondering and reeling.
RedditorsPanzer_ace_8wanted to compare notes on the things we're aware of that maybe we wish we could forget. They asked:
"What’s a disturbing fact you know?"
I mostly know disturbing facts about serial killers. As if that isn't enough. This should be fun.
Rest WellHand Pain GIF by PetelskiGiphy
"The skin mites that live on your cheeks come to the surface at night to find mates and do the deed. Sleep well."
"If you were to eat another adult human being, it would be approximately 125,822 calories. I went down a rabbit hole on Google and yeah."
"How come it's almost 126K?"
"Math. Average human is say 70 kg, has 20% bodyfat, so 14kg of fat. Fat has 9kcal per gram, which makes it. 126,000kcal. Math never lies! But I do make plenty of mistakes. Probably it's more complicated - but directionally seems legit."
"Within three days of death, the enzymes from your digestive system begin to digest your body."
"I guess it’s reassuring to know your body decays before bugs can even get a shot to help your body decay, sort of like a medical death except your body willingly does it for you instead of doctors."
People on Earthseason 11 people GIFGiphy
"If you are 25 years old, approximately 1/3 of the entire world's population that existed at your birth, have since died."
How do people just stumble upon this sort of info? Y'all must read.
GotchaKaty Perry Sharks GIF by VevoGiphy
"Some species of shark will 'waddle' onto land in order to catch more prey."
"During World War 2, Japan bombed China with fleas infected with the bubonic plague."
"Man they were just straight attempting to kill as many civilians of possible with that one."
"This is why a large portion of Chinese loathe the Japanese."
"It's believed the USS Thresher or USS Scorpion (don't remember which one) took around 20 minutes to go to crush depth in it's free fall."
"My Uni mate is a navy submariner and he said that if a problem isn’t your department you just ignore it, because ultimately it either gets fixed or you die, neither of which are scenarios you can do anything about. Him and a friend were playing Fifa in their bunk when the whole sub tipped to 45 degrees. They just kept playing at 45 degrees… it got fixed eventually but they’re reactor crew so nothing they could do to help either way."
"There are places called 'body farms' were scientists and researchers look at the decomposition process of human remains in different circumstances. Basically a big area somewhere outside were human, sometimes pig corpses are laid out to be exposed to the natural elements or they're even enclosed somewhere (like the trunk of a car). They're actually important e.g. for forensic anthropology to help solve crimes. And you can donate your body for research after you die!"
Miles Longart GIFGiphy
"Your body makes blood vessels of about 7 miles in length for every pound of fat you gain. This in turn strains your heart as it has to work harder to pump blood through the new network of blood vessels."
Well there are things I never needed to know. But now we do.
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Hitchhiking. It has to be one of the most dangerous things a person can do.
There are too many movies where a hitchhiker falls victim to some psycho, and they're shocked it's happening.
Like... Hello?!?! You got into some stranger's car. How could you not get killed?
Also, all throughout childhood years we tell kids to NEVER get into a stranger's car.
But once we're 18 that rule seems to no longer apply.
I feel like it should be MORE prescient in adulthood.
But I'm sure all the survivors have quite the tale to share.
RedditorWestTexasOilmanwanted all of the road travelers to share some memories about past rides. They asked:
"Current or Former Hitchhikers of Reddit; What person that stopped or gave you a ride was the most memorable? Why?"
I just don't have the trust in humans that some of y'all do. How do you get into a stranger's car? Oh no...
Among the HorsesLaughter Wtf GIF by ADWEEKGiphy
"So a few years ago I was working in a small resort in the French Alps for the ski season."
"About 15-20 of us all worked in a hotel in one valley, the only bar that stayed open past 11 was in a different valley, it was a pretty flat and straight road to it but a good 15 minute drive or hour walk. We would regularly split up into smaller groups to try and hitchhike cause ain't no one stopping for 15 people with their thumbs out."
"Well one time we couldn't be bothered to split up and we just decided to do the walk and not worry. We decided to chance it anyways and stuck our thumbs at to every car that went by, got a lot of honks, shouts etc, all fun and games until one guy stops with a horse trailer."
"He asks where we're going and we say where and he says hop in. Que 4 of us in his truck, 4 in the bed of the truck and the rest in the horse trailer next to this guys horse."
"Got picked up in Queensland Australia and after a few quite pleasant hours the driver started freaking out as we came to a police checkpoint. Turns out my new friend had broken out of jail and had stolen the car. I got stuck at Bowen cop shop until I could prove my innocence."
"I accidentally picked up a hitchhiker once. I was at a red light at the transition between a village and town road (no more sidewalk, road gets busier and a bit more dangerous to walk). A man walked up to my window from the sidewalk and waved like he was going to tell me something (I assume tell me I had a flat tire or something about my car)."
"I rolled down my window and he mumbled something with a smile, and when I motioned that I couldn't understand him, he just nodded happily, grabbed my door handle and got in my car. Once he was in, it was clear that he spoke little to no English (he was Asian, about 25-30 years old, and very polite)."
"He motioned that he appreciated the ride and I asked how far. He understood and said 'not far!' I told him I was only going home which was a mile down the road and that's as far as I could take him. He nodded politely but I'm not sure he understood."
"I drove the mile down the road, and right in front of my neighborhood was a Blockbuster. He motioned to the Blockbuster and said, 'Here, here!' I asked if he was sure and he nodded, thanked me profusely with gestures and bowing with his hands together. I waved and drove off. To this day I've never seen him again and it remains a strange encounter for sure."
zest for adventure...
"I have only ever hitchhiked twice in my life, and both times, a ruinous hike was involved lol. In this story, I was left behind by the shuttle because it took me longer to complete the mountain traverse. I was in the middle of nowhere, it was getting dark quickly, and my phone wasn't working."
"An old couple in their 60s, whom I had been chatting with on and off on the trail, noticed my agitation and asked if I was okay. I told them the bus had left me behind and I had no way of getting back to my lodge, which was 30 kilometres away. They offered me a ride even though it was out of their way."
"We got to talking during the drive. I told them that the hike was a first for me as I wanted to do something memorable for my birthday; they joked that maybe I should stick to dinner and movies next time. As for my good Samaritans, they had been travelling the world to celebrate their recent retirement."
"Prior to doing the trek, they had just completed a cross-country motorcycle trip with their son. I was awestruck by their kindness and generosity, their obvious zest for adventure, and the fact that they were still so, so smitten with each other after all these years."
"you like hasish?"Fx Networks Indian GIF by Reservation DogsGiphy
"Hitchhiking in Israel with my partner in the 90s. We were picked up by these Palestinian brothers."
"After a bit of chit chat the one in the passenger seat says 'you like hasish?' Pulls out a big joint which we all smoked. He then says 'my brother, he's a cop,' then pulls out his glock and starts waving it around. 'It's all good' he says. We had a good chat, many laughs and after half an hour they dropped us off. We realized we were only about 100 metres further down the road from where we were picked up."
How have so many of you survived this long? Luck.
In ScotlandSam Heughan Dancing GIF by Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and GrahamGiphy
"About six years ago I was hitchhiking in Scotland, heading north to do some wild camping."
"My second ride, I got picked up by a Scottish guy, I could barely understand what he was saying because of the accent. He was heading into Glencoe to climb a hill and camp at the top, so I joined him. Long story short I now live in Scotland, we've been married for 4 years, and I now understand 99% of what he says."
"My most memorable ride was also my shortest. A guy pulled over in the middle of nowhere Maine. He said our path's would diverge just over the bridge but he'd give us a ride anyway. So we got in for the 100 foot ride. After we got out, he leaned over to the open passenger side window and said in a gravelly voice, 'Life does not give a rat's @ss who lives it.' And he drove off."
"I once picked up a guy wearing a black leather trench coat in 100 degree weather. He was young and friendly, made good conversation, but he absolutely reeked. Finally I couldn't really stand it and was like, 'Man, I'm sorry, but I gotta tell you that you f**king stink.' And he goes, 'Oh haha yeah, it's probably my racoon,' then he opens his jacket and he has a freaking racoon pelt tacked to a piece of cardboard."
"Memorable more for the reason I was hitchhiking. I had driven a few hours away from where I live and payed my last past penny to get training for my desired career. I barely had enough money to attend, and couldn't afford a hotel, so I packed a sleeping bag, and everything I needed to sleep in the back of my van at the training center."
"It was mid spring and was supposed to be pretty warm in the day, and a tad nippy at night, but we ended up having a freak blizzard. The Van was absolutely freezing so I decided to turn it on to keep warm and hope I didn't use too much gas. As it turned out my battery had died in the cold and I had a 2-hour walk, in a blizzard, to get in to town to try and get help."
"By some miracle I spotted a truck about an hour in. The driver had arrived too early to drop off his load, and decided to park on this empty dirt road to rest for the night. He ended up giving me some food, and jumping my car. I managed to stay warm the rest of the night, and get home after the last of the training."
"Definitely one of the scariest moments of my life, because I don't think I would have made it town with all my toes if I'd had to walk another hour."
This is nice...Music Video Desert GIF by Red Bull RecordsGiphy
"Not a naughty story, sorry... but I got a lift once while hitching during my army days. Hopped into the car, slightly distracted. Noticed wood panelling, leather seats, etc. That bonnet going on for 2km in front of the car. Turned out to be a vintage Rolls-Royce."
This is why I fly. Y'all are crazy.